YMCA receives grant from Sport England

Updated: 12 November 2014

YMCA West & Central Herts is among 148 local organisations to secure a share of £10 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England ...

YMCA West & Central Herts is among 148 local organisations to secure a share of £10 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.

Since 2011, Inspired Facilities has been helping breathe new life into tired community sports facilities and converting existing buildings into venues suitable for grassroots sport.

YMCA West & Central Herts will receive £66,777 towards the redevelopment of tennis courts at Leavesden Country Park. They have been working with Three Rivers District Council to create an exciting development plan for the park. It will include the creation of two significant facilities.

YMCA Chief Executive Guy Foxell said:

"With all the new housing development in the area, it is even more important that the Council and YMCA provide high quality and accessible facilities to local people. We are delighted that Sport England have chosen to support the development, which complements our existing Health Club and Nursery at Woodlands, in our aim to make healthy living as affordable as possible for the whole community."

A new community building will be built to allow local residents to enjoy a range of youth, community and health & wellbeing activities.  The building will include a café and toilets. Secondly, the existing tennis courts, which are in need of redevelopment, will be converted into a Multi Use Games Area and two 3G football pitches, with the aid of this Sport England funding.

Three Rivers District Council’s lead member for leisure, community and wellbeing, Keith Williams, said:

“Congratulations to the YMCA. This grant is a great boost for Leavesden Country Park and the improvements will help us to maintain the park’s national Green Flag status for excellence. The plans are innovative and will allow for greater use to be made of the tennis court space. 

"A wider range of sports will be playable on the area while keeping the existing tennis court provision. We’ve listened to what residents have to say and as a result have also included a café and toilets in the building plans.

Keith added:

“Sport England are doing an essential job in promoting healthy activity in this country. With childhood obesity at record levels nationally,  it is important for us all to work together to make sure there are lots of enjoyable physical activities available for all ages. This grant achieves exactly that.”

Many more communities are set to benefit from the hugely popular fund with the latest round of the Inspired Facilities now open. Community and voluntary organisations, councils and schools can bid for a share of £20 million to help  upgrade facilities that can be unattractive, expensive to run and difficult to maintain, and to convert existing non-sporting buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport.

Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said:

“The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £94 million into more than 1,800 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.

“It’s great to see YMCA West & Central Herts join the long list of successful organisations to benefit from this fund.”

Applying for funding has never been easier. Based on feedback from previous applicants, the Inspired Facilities Fund is now an open programme which means projects can submit applications as soon as they are ready rather than being restricted by a specific deadline.